Wounds As Tender Tinder

 

 

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This poem follows on the heels of yesterday’s prayer.  It dogged me with the tenacity of Heaven’s Hound until this was born.  Ponder with me.

 

Tender Tinder (1)

Listen For The Breath Of The Divine

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The wall between us and the divine is very thin at this time of year. It permeates every nook and cranny of our existence. If we are awake, we can hear its breath whisper words of love through chinks we have burrowed in the doors to our souls. Keep on knocking.

 

Rilke’s Book of Hours
Anita Barrows
1,6

You, God, who live next door—
If at times, through the long night,
I trouble you with my urgent knocking—
this is why: I hear you breathe so seldom.
I know you’re all alone in that room.
If you should be thirsty, there’s no one to get you a glass of water.
I wait listening, always.
Just give me a sign! I’m right here.
As it happens, the wall between us is very thin.
Why couldn’t a cry from one of us break it down?
It would crumble easily, it would barely make a sound.

 

 

Photo Credit: pexels.com

“It’s A Privilege To Be Here.” (K.U.)

 

I entered the YMCA swimming pool earlier than usual today, desperate to heal from the strident rancor that stalked me through the written word, spoken word, unspoken word, words, words, words. No escape here. As I sank into the comfort of the hot tub, the blaring voice of Thursday’s aerobics instructor reverberated through the space, shattering my renewal attempt. “Let it go,” I told myself, “In twenty minutes she’s out of here.” I began my hour’s swim and instead of leaving with her class, the instructor lingered through “my” hour, engaged in a non-stop decibel-enhanced monologue with a captivated swimmer.

Workout ended and instructor gone, I sank back into the comfort of the hot tub, silence ensuing throughout the pool. Two deaf women joined me, signing sparingly, enjoying their time. Blissful silence wrapped around me like a child’s blankie warding off a nightmare.

A familiar thought pushed its way into consciousness. “I wish I were deaf. I hardly hear as it is, yet some sounds are physically painful…might as well take it all.” If my deaf companions could have read my thoughts I can guess their response. “It’s a privilege to be here,” they would say. “Its a privilege to be here as we are. It’s a privilege for you to be here just as you are.” Savor what you have. Savor who you are.”

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I wrap a blanket of silence
around my battered psyche,
snuggling into its warm comfort
where I conjure the resilience
to surface in the world
ear-to-ear
heart-to-heart.

© Rita Hemmer Kowats 10-4-2019

A Timely Mandate: Play Your Heart Out

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We are called to play one another
into being
         with the instrument we’ve been given.

RHK

 

 

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Photo Credit:   

“SoulCards” by Deborah Koff-Chapin.  The technique Deborah has created is called “touch drawing.”  The  cards come in two decks of 60 images and can be used alone or with others as reflection tools.  They have enriched my meditation for years and have helped those I companion with.  www.soulcards.com

Used with permission from the artist

 

The Holy Howl

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My brother died last April and in May my sister and I received an unexpected invitation from his neighbor to accompany him to Wolf Haven.  The unspoken intent was to pay tribute to George.  This poem emerged from my longing for connection.  I often encounter those who have passed in various ways.  This was by far the most powerful.

 

The Holy Howl
(for Martha)

On May eighteenth
before spring had taken hold,
we encountered the freshly transitioned spirit of our brother
in the haunting howl of twelve wolves
at Wolf Haven Sanctuary.
Once abused, abandoned or old,
now they pace, paw and hunt safely with a new pack.

George had loved these wolves
because they were the ancestors
of his beloved Siberian Husky Zane.photostudio_1569422446543
A self-designated member of Zane’s pack,
George would wrestle on the floor with Zane
and howl “JingleBells” in unison with the Husky.
We came to Wolf Haven to honor our brother.

We ambled in a tight circle
pausing at each of the six enclosures
to meet the pacing pair that called it home
and to hear the story of their journey to Wolf Haven.

Arriving back at the entrance we stopped
to listen to the guide’s closing remarks.
Eerily silent throughout the tour, now
a lone wolf lifted its head and let lose
a magnificent primal howl,
stopping the guide in mid-sentence.
An expectant silence ensued,
shattered soon by a raucous chorus
as the whole pack joined in.
They split the mythical veil
that separates here from hereafter.

We met our brother in the holy howl.
Rest in peace, George.

© Rita H Kowats 9-23-19

 

Wolf Photo Credit:  pexels.com Continue reading

Welcome Autumn

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Last evening, the eve of Autumn, I was comfortably ensconced in my chair listening to the Pacific Northwest seasonal onslaught of rain gently ping against the windows.  Sonorous snores from Sherlock, my tubby tabby, provided bass accompaniment and the savory aroma of beef stew on the stove wafted in, peaking my anticipation.  As the Germans would say, this was the essence of Gemutlichkeit.

Yet, with autumn comes the denuding of trees and spirit, so this arrival of the season is bitter sweet.  This blessing from John O’Donohue has eased me into it.  Perhaps it will do the same for you.

Vespers
As light departs to let the earth be one with night,
Silence deepens in the mind, and thoughts grow slow;
The basket of twilight brims over with colors
Gathered from within the sacred meadows of the day
And offered like blessings to the gathering Tenebrae.
After the day’s frenzy, may the heart grow still,
Gracious in thought for all the day brought,
Surprises that dawn could never have dreamed:
The blue silence that came to still the mind,
The quiver of mystery at the edge of a glimpse,
The golden echoes of worlds behind voices.
Tense faces unable to hide what gripped the heart,
The abrupt cut of a glance or a word that hurt,
The flame of longing that distance darkened,
Bouquets of memory gathered on the heart’s altar,
The thorns of absence in the rose of dream.
And the whole while the unknown underworld
Of the mind, turning slowly, in its secret orbit.
May the blessing of sleep bring refreshment and release
And the Angel of the moon call the rivers of dream
To soften the hardened earth of the outside life,
Disentangle from the trapped nets the hurts and sorrow,
And awaken the young soul for the new tomorrow.
~ John O’Donohue ~
(To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings)

photo credit: spoilt.exile <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/96301483@N05/46243352305″>Склон / Slope</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

“Sleepless in Seattle”: Navigating an Ego Storm

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Spirit-Weaving

A web of webs
connects bar to bar
on the lanai railing,
its silver threads catching
the subdued September sun
as it inches its way across the eastern sky.

Early autumn wind cools
the coffee hoarded in my hands-
a comforting respite from the nocturnal
ego storm that ensnared insectile what ifs
in the web of my soul, exhausting me
with their raging
against the storm.

Now
out here in healing sun,
wind and real webs
a Spirit-Web of trust
has neutralized the what-ifs,
calling me back to rest
in the center of my own best self.
Steady
Ready.

© Rita H Kowats 9-9-19

When the Sky Is Falling

 

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When we are at home in our souls our actions flow freely with great power to change situations for the greatest good.

All shall be well
and all shall be well
and all manner of thing
shall be well.

Dame Julian of Norwich

 

Or

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Photo Credit: pexels.com